The future of health IT lies in paperless systems

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Health IT continues to be an area of focus as hospitals throughout the country prepare for the onset of the Affordable Care Act and look to cut costs while streamlining processes. This is why transitioning to a paperless environment has gained traction with many healthcare CIOs in recent years. JumpStock, our cloud-based inventory management solution, is certainly something that decision-makers at today's hospitals should consider. By giving doctors and nurses the ability to place orders for supplies straight from their personal smartphones and tablets, the system allows clinicians to stop focusing so much on administrative tasks, and further devote their time to patient care.

Hospitals are investing more in health IT
Inventory management in the cloud is just one example of how health IT is exploding in popularity with healthcare CIOs. In fact, the recent "2014 Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society Leadership Survey" revealed 65 percent of nearly 300 respondents are devoting more money to their IT budgets, with a majority of these funds being used for the adoption of paperless processes. With electronic medical records becoming mainstays at many hospitals, it makes sense for healthcare CIOs to take a hard look at getting rid of paper-based systems and leverage innovative technology that can make doctors and nurses more productive during their shifts.

"It is refreshing to see how much progress providers have made in the past 25 years when it comes to integrating health IT into their patient care strategies," said Lorren Pettit, vice president of market research for HIMSS Analytics. "It is clear that healthcare reform initiatives are paying off and we hope that these findings will validate the return on investment of health IT so that we may continue down this path of a more cost-effective, efficient healthcare system that engages the patient."

Healthcare centers are anxious to go paperless
According to the HIMSS Analytics study, a couple of the top IT priorities for today's healthcare CIOs are giving clinicians access to computerized practitioner order entry solutions and physician documentation systems. Hospitals are ready to make the change to paperless before penalties can come into effect in 2015. Many healthcare CIOs may need a roadmap to success. Below is a list from independent environmental news and lifestyle publication Greener Ideal on how to stop using paper-based process and transition to a digital office:

  • Don't rush: While the pressure may be on to make a quick change to paperless processes, there have been many instances where hospitals achieved the most successful migration to the cloud at a tepid pace. Healthcare CIOs don't want to make life difficult for their workforce, which is why it makes sense to slowly acclimate staff to digital systems. Training doctors and nurses on all the new technology is critical to maximizing productivity when going paperless.
  • Be smarter about printing: Just because the hospital is going paperless, it doesn't mean that clinicians won't use any paper documents throughout the day. It simply means that employees will have access to information in the cloud on their smartphones and tablets, as well as virtualized devices. Keeping this in mind, it's important to talk with doctors and nurses about what they need to print and which files they can view on their mobile gadgets.
  • Give employees access to technology: The focus on health IT, first and foremost, has to be staying compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. However, after making sure that certain technology is acceptable, healthcare CIOs should provide their employees access to digital tools they can use to become more efficient in their daily roles.